September 13 (continued)
After setting up camp just west of Leadville, CO, Kelly and I take her truck down to Twin Lakes where the aspen are in full color. Locals say autumn is about two weeks early this year due to the drier weather. Which makes sense to me, the same thing happened in Wisconsin when it was dry.
Kelly has a Ford Raptor, a vehicle just made for off-roading. We take some of the little dirt trails near the lakes and discover some pretty boondocking spots. But where we are is pretty nice too.
When we get to the end of what her truck can handle, we park it on a steep slant and continue on foot. We pass through a mature stand of aspen and get pictures of each other on the other side.
In the evening the sun setting against the mountains east of camp makes for a good backdrop for a photo of Cas. I’m glad I came to Leadville.
September 15, Saturday
Hiking day! After a morning spent working, Kelly and I meet after lunch to go hike to Timberline Lake. It’s not far from camp, just a quick drive along the south shore of Turquoise Lake to the west end.
The trail goes uphill through forests of pine and spruce with meadows between. It’s not steep, but it’s consistent. Having just come from Oregon, it doesn’t take long before I’m panting, we’re somewhere between 10 and 11,000 feet and I’m not use to the elevation.
The lake is beautiful, with a backdrop of mountains and a cloudless blue sky above. A breeze ripples the water, which is quite clear with a rocky bottom visible.
We decide to walk all the way around the lake, and only sort of get lost once – which is good for us! The sun is getting low in the sky as we prepare to head back.
On the way back down a gray bird swoops down out of the trees to land in front of us. It’s soon joined by two more. They look at us expectantly, I’m guessing they’ve been fed before. The fact that I can get a photo this clear of them with my phone tells you how close they were. Does anyone know what species they are?
By the time we get back to the trailhead we’ve clocked about 6.5 miles, a worthy hike!
September 21, Friday
Today’s the day!
At 6 am I wake up to temperatures well below freezing – my plumbing is froze. I use Wunderground as my weather app and usually it’s quite accurate, but it utterly fails here in Leadville, often showing the temperature as being 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. At least it’s still getting up into the 60’s during the day which is quite pleasant. I turn on my Little Buddy heater and an hour later everything is thawed out which is good because it’s time for me to go.
I hop into Bertha which is showing 22 degrees, no wonder the plumbing froze! The sun hasn’t yet crested over the mountains as I make my way north to I70 and then east to Denver. There’s little traffic this time of day and the drive is uneventful.
Upon arriving in Denver I make a couple stops, to REI for some camping gear and to Wells Fargo for a Cashier’s check. I arrive at Hiker Trailer right on time for my appointment at 10:30 am.
My teardrop is waiting out front for me. The owner, Rob, who I did the tour with last year shows me how the basics work on the trailer. It goes pretty fast, because I’m already so familiar with how trailers work from living in the Casita the past six years. After that, Lauren whom I’ve spoken with a lot through e-mail the past 10 months, takes me in to the office to sign off on the last paperwork and hands me the Certificate of Origin and Bill of Sale for the teardrop. I hand her the Cashier’s check and it’s official: the teardrop is mine! I have someone get a picture of Rob and I in front of my trailer, and by noon I’m on the road.
I’d done a lot of pondering ahead of time on how today was going to go. I could have brought the Casita down and found a place to park it in Denver, then move everything from Cas over to the teardrop. But that method only would have worked well if I had a buyer for Cas lined up ahead of time, which didn’t pan out. Selling Cas in Denver would probably be easier than from Leadville, but there’s nowhere I can park both Cas and the teardrop without having to pay a bunch of money and I just don’t want to do that.
So I opt to take the teardrop back to Leadville where Cas is still parked. A couple is coming out to look at Cas tomorrow at noon, and they’re cool with driving to Leadville to see him. I spend the evening working on moving stuff from the Casita into the teardrop, but still spend one more night in Cas.
This is the second night in a row I haven’t slept well, and it’s cold again in the morning although not as cold as yesterday. I rope Kelly and Bob who arrived yesterday into helping me clean and prepare Cas for the noon showing. We scrub everything and generally make Cas look good – I have awesome friends!
The couple arrive. The showing seems to go well. They drive back into town to eat lunch and discuss things while I eat too and pull more stuff out of Cas.
Not much later they text me: they’re ready to buy… and want to take Cas with them today. Whee!
The rest of the afternoon is a flurry of hauling stuff out willy-nilly. A bunch of my belongings end up in the back of Bob’s pickup. But by the time the couple come back around 4 pm, Cas is ready to go. I pull all the important stuff that belongs with Cas together: The snap caps, rivets, rivet gun, one of the electric heaters, the binder with all the paperwork, and the fancy sway control hitch and all associated parts, plus a few more things that I won’t need with the teardrop that they could use.
Hitch up goes fine, their truck is about the same height as Bertha. I take a short video as they drive away… and then realize that with all the stuff I gave them, I forgot about the bathroom door and one of the cupboard doors that are off that I’ve been carrying in my truck! Luckily they aren’t too far and I catch up quickly. Really I’m still impressed with how quickly I managed to pull this all together.
My next order of business is getting a sleeping place together in the teardrop, and organizing stuff at least to the point that it’s all safe for the night.
How do I feel about saying bye to Cas and spending my first night in the teardrop? To be honest I’ve been so busy just doing what needs to be done that I have little energy leftover to contemplate it. Mostly I just feel exhausted, but I do also feel grateful that the sale of Cas went quickly rather than being dragged out. Now I don’t need to worry about taking care of two trailers and can get on with making the teardrop my home!
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